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Humiliation at Grandma's

I am so honored to be guest blogging for Mama M today! Besides being my bestie, I admire her as a woman and mother and friend SO much! Plus she laughs at most of my jokes, so bonus! She first told me that I needed to guest blog when I told her the following story (which doesn't involve Mama M but did involve her laughing so hard she cried when I told it her)--so I thought I'd share the joy that was my humiliation :)

I'm not a runner. I'm barely what you'd call a "walker". I'm what you'd call "indoorsy" (took that from a Jim Gaffigan bit). But I have this idea of a future self that's much like an action figure: Action Figure Tara! (can you here the "da-da-DAAAH!" and see the bright yellow cape flowing in the wind? Yep, my cape would be yellow--such a happy color!). Anyway, I fancy myself an action hero but reality is far from it. (that's me in the blue tank pretending I can go fast)

So when a friend of mine from Bible Study (A is on the right in the pic) was praying about making changes in her life and God put it in her heart to "do" a 5K, I told her that sounded fun! (why?!? cuz I'm delusional). I told her I'd be supportive and do it with her; and then my other friend (we'll call her Red) joined in the fun. So the three of us trekked up to Duluth for the Grandma's 5K.

For those of you not from MN, Grandma's is serious business. I actually didn't know this (I'm going to say it's because I'm from SD originally but really I just don't pay attention to these kinds of things). So we get there and there are 1,522 participants! AND ESPN is announcing the race (what?! wait?! it's a race? I thought this was, you know, for fun).

My friends position themselves up in the crowd because they are runners and actually belong in the race. I position myself behind the fast walkers but ahead of the octagenarians. And my goal? to NOT finish LAST.

About 1 mile in I'm going as fast as my little legs can carry me when the last of the senior citizens pass me by--grandpa cruises past me without a glance and grandma gives me a look of pity and says "sorry dear" and then speeds ahead. Seriously!? At this point I'm having words with God like "Why did you put me here? what am I learning from this?!" but He had even more to teach me; plus I think he must've needed a good laugh.

Three levels of humiliation:
1: The 5K requires 2 city streets to be closed down and so as soon as I was the last one I realize that I have a police escort (vehicle) ON MY TAIL. I kept whipping my head around to give a dirty look as if to say "back off!" when I realize that BEHIND the police escort are about 50 cars waiting to get through--waiting for slow, pitiful me!

2. So around mile 2 all of the people who were at the finish line watching the race decide they've seen most of the racers come in and it's time to go home. They are headed back to their cars and they see the police escort and the massive traffic jam and look ahead of it all to see me. The looks on their faces are "Awww. . look! there's one left!" and then yelled some variation of "You can do it!" at me. Really it was sweet but in the moment it didn't feel all that sweet. Luckily I had sunglasses on and they couldn't see my scowl :)

And 3. I'm coming around the corner for the last 1/8 mile and the finish line and I'm praying OUT LOUD for there to be no one waiting there but maybe my friends (who I found out later were thinking maybe I'd dropped out and was waiting at the car). I come around the corner and Red and A start cheering for me (probably just excited I'm still alive) and they capture the attention of the ESPN announcer who picks up his microphone and announces "Wait folks! We have one more! It's Tara Tollefson from St. Joseph MN! Let's Cheer her in!" At this point I"m praying for God to cause an earthquake in Duluth and just swallow me up. SO I decide to try to RUN the last little bit in order to not look totally stupid. Yeah, I momentarily forgot that I don't run! So I cross the finish line hyperventilating and Red and A run up to hug me and I threw up my hands and said "nope. need a minute!"

It took me about 30 minutes to go from upset to elated and recognize the gift God had given me that day. The beauty is that we had a fabulous girl's day in Duluth, I did actually finish (though considered giving up several times) AND that when I do it again next year I can't possibly do WORSE! Plus it makes for a heck of story :)
Thanks Mama M and Happy Weekend to all you beautiful blog readers!
Mama M's Bestie, Tara


  1. Still makes me laugh 'til I pee my pants! Soooo very funny, and very well told! Thanks for guest blogging, Tara! Love you!

  2. How embarrasing! Oh well, you made it all the way, and thats all that counts!

  3. ahhhh I had tears of joy for you! What a great story!

  4. OHHHH! Ok, so, oh no! I had just commented on an earlier post of yours that I need to quit "finding" such awesome blogs... and now, I read Tara's guest post! Ahhh...I have to check hers out next!

    I too, like Beth, had tears... for laughing so hard! Mind you, not laughing at you Tara, but with you, right? :o)...because this would be my story! I used to run back in the day...far, far, distant past, but now...I do well, to get some laps around my neighborhood and that's only if someone goes too.

    Noticed the state where this Grandma's race was held-my little sis (who is 9 mo younger than our older daughter!) lives and works in Minneapolis...and my dad's side are all from Wisconsin... My hubby and I are here in Hot and Humid Suh-thun Georgia.

    Blessings & Aloha! (My hubby's from Hawaii and I posted in one of my recent posts why I close with Aloha).

  5.'s me again. I thought there might be somewhere to link up to Tara's blog? I looked and looked and can't seem to find it...

    Please, come by and let me know if she has a blog. (Seriously, this is not a ploy to make you visit my blog...hmm, not a bad idea though!)

    Well, if you do, that would be great, cuz if she has more gems like this guest post...I'd love to read more :o)

    Blessings and Aloha!

  6. This is the funniest thing I've read, causing me to laugh hysterically out loud and come home and read it to my husband. Congratulations on the 5k, can't wait to read about it again next year!

  7. This is soooo funny! I love the sunglasses hiding the scowl! What a hoot!

  8. This is soooo funny! I love the sunglasses hiding the scowl! What a hoot!


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